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Eric Peterson (guitarist)

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Eric Peterson
Peterson performing in 2022
Peterson performing in 2022
Background information
Birth nameEric Stanley Peterson
Born (1964-05-14) May 14, 1964 (age 60)
OriginBerkeley, California, U.S.
GenresThrash metal, heavy metal, death metal, black metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1983–present
Member ofTestament, Dragonlord

Eric Stanley Peterson (born May 14, 1964) is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist of the thrash metal band Testament and the only remaining original member left in the band, which first started in 1983 under the name Legacy. He and lead vocalist Chuck Billy are the only members to appear on all of the band's studio albums.

Peterson also has a side project black metal band called Dragonlord, in which he plays guitar and also sings. In Testament, Peterson was originally a rhythm guitarist while Alex Skolnick handled all lead work. More recently though, Peterson plays leads along with Skolnick.

Musical influences


Peterson has cited Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Kiss, Judas Priest, Boston, Scorpions, UFO, Montrose, Pat Travers and Mahogany Rush (with Frank Marino) as influences and inspirations to him.[1] When forming the sound of Legacy/Testament, he had been influenced by the band's Bay Area peers Metallica and Exodus, in addition to NWOBHM bands such as Judas Priest, Venom, Saxon and Angel Witch, and European heavy metal bands like Mercyful Fate.[1]

Personal life


His father was of Swedish descent and his mother was of Mexican descent.

Peterson was married to Kirk Hammett's ex-wife Rebecca, with whom he has one child. They are now divorced.[2]



Peterson's main guitars have been Gibson models for most of his career in Testament, primarily a black Explorer model and a Les Paul. Recently, however, he is endorsing Dean Guitars and has been using his own signature Dean V guitar.

  • Amplifier: Kemper, Marshall JVM series 210 watt head, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier Heads, and EVH 5150 heads
  • Cabinets: Cathedral Guitar Cabinets model: Bishop (4x12)(on tour in Europe since 2022), Mesa 4x12 Recto Cabinets loaded with Celestion vintage 30s & EVH III Cabinets
  • Effects: Dunlop Cry Baby from Hell Wah, Boss TU-2 Tuner, MXR Flanger, MXR Stereo Chorus, TC Electronic Nova Delay
  • Cords: Monster Cable
  • Guitars: Dean Cadillac, Dean Michael Schenker V, Gibson Flying V, Dean Eric Peterson Signature OldSkull V
  • Strings: DR Gauge 10–52(tuned one AND half step down, i.e. Db Gb B E Ab Db or C# F# B E G# c#)
  • Pickups: Dean Flying V: EMG 85 (neck) & EMG 81 (bridge), Dean Time Capsule: Dimarzio Super Distortion Zebras, Dean Cadillac: Seymor Duncan '59 (sh-1n neck) & jazz (sh-2 middle), jb (sh-4 bridge)
  • Picks: Dunlop Purple & Green sharp


Peterson with Testament in 2012

With Legacy

  • Demo 1 (1984)
  • Demo 2 (1985)

With Testament


With Dragonlord


With Leah

  • "Dreamland" (2013)
  • "Winter Sun" (2015)

Guest appearances



  1. ^ a b "Testament Family Tree — The Metal". givememetal.com. April 8, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  2. ^ "Did You Know?". Themurkywaters.tripod.com. Retrieved November 11, 2011.